It’s been about a month since Covid-19 fell on our world like a pack of wolves on a flock of sheep. Fortunately, humans are an adaptable species and we are beginning to adjust to the new “normal.” Here are just a few examples of what THE NEW NORMAL looks like.
A tiger at the Bronx zoo tested positive for Covid-19. Wow, I didn’t see that one coming! But I’ve got a few rhetorical questions. Why, in a time of medical shortage and emergency, would anyone take the time and trouble to test a tiger? Who thought it was necessary? Did they test all the animals, starting with aardvarks, or just the tigers? If they only tested tigers, isn’t that species profiling? Shouldn’t all the cat people be going Twitter-Nutsy right now? And finally, what’s the big deal? It’s been my experience that maintaining a safe social distance from a full grown tiger is pretty much common sense.
The mayor of Baltimore called on the street gangs of his city to quit shooting each other because the medical facilities were needed to combat the virus. The gangs, taking their social responsibility seriously, stepped up and called a truce for the duration. I guess everybody’s got to do their part in these troubled times.
The BBC reported that, in response to a worldwide pandemic that has ripped apart the lives of billions of people on 6 continents, bankrupted millions and killed close to 100,000 – so far — the city of Shenzhen is taking action. They are about to become the first city in China to ban the eating of dogs and cats. The ban isn’t happening right now, but will take effect on May 1st because – uh — restaurants and grocery stores still have them in stock? A lot of people have already booked the barbeque? Who knows? Actually there’s no logical reason for a 30 day delay in this legislation (it’s not like anybody in China gets a vote!) but, you’ve been warned: if you want to have Rover over for dinner, in Shenzhen, you better do it soon. And the Chinese authorities are not fooling around either. Apparently, there will be some pretty steep fines for Kung Pao Kitten. So, after May one, anybody with a craving for pet food is going to have to get their ass outside the city limits – end of story.
Several countries have decided not to participate in the Covid-19 pandemic. Most of these are remote Pacific Island nations like Nauru, Tuvalu and Vanuatu– which makes sense, because they’re all self-isolated by thousands of kilometres of water. Then, there are other countries like Yemen where the leading causes of death are gunshot wounds and suicide bombers, so a persistent cough is not going to get anybody a lot of hospital time. But the two places that beggar my imagination are Turkmenistan and North Korea. They both have boldly declared that they simply do not have any cases of Covid-19. None! Okay, Turkmenistan I can kinda understand: I had to Google it just to find out where it was — so I doubt it, but maybe. . . . However … North Korea? It shares a land border with China, the biggest bogyman hiding under the pandemic bed; their economies are intimately connected, and thousands of people go back and forth across the border every day. What are the chances? Unless, of course, the Glorious Leader, Kim Jong whatever-his-name-is stood on the Yalu River, drove a spear into the Earth and shouted, (in his best Gandalf voice) “Go back to the shadows. You shall not pass!” and the virus turned around and went home. Given all the other batshit-crazy stuff coming out of that country, sounds legit!